NCTC could be misused for political purposes: Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused the Union Government of attempting to centralise police powers.
New Delhi: Accusing the Union Government of attempting to centralise police powers, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said the NCTC could be misused for "political purposes".
Chouhan said the NCTC, in its present form, is against the federal structure laid down in the Constitution and demanded that all stakeholders be treated equally as team members for success in fighting terrorism.
"Numerous security analysts have opined that NCTC under the Intelligence Bureau is prone to political misuse. This contention appears to be true as NCTC in proposed format is likely to be misused for political purposes.
"Security experts have also visualised that by carrying out operations on its own, NCTC will get bogged down in court cases and human right issues. The above contentions are real, based on the past experiences and therefore, needs to be resolved," Chouhan said at the Meeting of CMs here.
The conference was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram.
"I do not consider the provisions for creation of NCTC to be in accordance with the federal structure enshrined in our Constitution," the MP Chief Minister said.
Chouhan also hit out against the central government for neglecting the states in framing terror related policies.
"On one side, government of India emphasises on coordination among state and central security agencies and on other hand, state authorities are overlooked in deciding counter terror policies.
Continuous neglect of state agencies in this direction shows the growing tendency of centralisation …No consultation was done with state agencies in amendment of UAPA in 2008 or while creating the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
"Order on NCTC is another step taken in this sequence. Proposed amendments in BSF and RPF Act are also an example of attempts of centralisation of police powers by centre," he said.
Chouhan said that in "no case" NCTC should launch any operations without taking into confidence the state agencies.
"Order for setting up of NCTC mandates state agency to provide intelligence to NCTC which in turn, after analysis will decide whether to carry out operations on its own or direct other agencies for requisite response.
"This very provision is not in unison with the concept of coordination among central and state agencies. All stakeholders shall be treated equally as a team member for success in fighting terrorism," he said.
Chouhan reasoned that the proposed joint action by the NCTC with state agencies will contradict the effort of the agencies which will eventually benefit terrorists in courts.
"....NCTC has no liability to take the case of the arrested person to a logical conclusion. Rather NCTC takes shelter of section 43B where the arrested person or seized property is to be handed over to nearest police station.
"These provisions will create number of difficulties as action of two different agencies will be involved in presenting different parts of single continuous event in the court of law where contradictions will emerge. Even a smallest contradiction in the proceedings will benefit terrorists in the court of law. This whole process defeats the idea of taking strong action against the terror activities," he said.
Chouhan said in the present scenario no organisation alone can resolve the manifold challenges facing internal security.
"Every state has different cultures, languages and very diverse conditions and problems. Thus, the problem has to be dealt at different levels. Coordinated efforts of different departments of Centre and states can successfully make inroads into the problem of terrorism in order to solve it.
Praising Home Minister P Chidambaram, he said during his tenure the sharing of intelligence between state and central agencies had improved in combating the naxal challenge.
"This successful model adopted in fight against Left Wing Extremism can be replicated in curbing terrorist activities and proposed structure wherein NCTC is entrusted with operations is not at all required," he said.
NCTC, he said, will be more effective in dealing with terrorists, if it specialises in collection of intelligence and coordination with state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) units.
"Concerted efforts from central and state agencies are needed for fighting terrorism. It is also essential that central government believes and trusts state units and take them along as a team," he said.
The CM also pointed to the success of the MP ATS in dealing with security issues in his state.